The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
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On Wed, 25 Jun 2003 01:13:04 -0400 "ppg" <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes: >"Instead of marching against the government it might be >more effective if 100,000 people showed up at the >doorsteps of the fourth estate." -Bob.Steel1 > >Of course. It has always been true. Just why no US >protesters, no US campaign organizers have ever, EVER >figured this out is beyond me. If someone has an answer >to this misdirection of effort, I would like to hear it. My best guess is that it's like watching TV over a period of months, noticing the picture getting darker and darker, and calling the repair guy, only to find out when he comes that the screen has been accumulating dirt and just needed to be cleaned. People tend not to actually watch the news, but to watch *through* the news, and assume they are seeing the world. The media become transparent -- and unnoticed. While out on a peace vigil I was talking to a young Bush fanatic, a couple of days after one of the many "discoveries" of WMD. He brought it up, but when I told him that the WMDs had turned out to be a barrel of insecticide or whatever it was he protested that that couldn't be -- if the allegations hadn't panned out he would have seen it all over the news (he watched FOX). It never occured to him that the news might be biased or the government could lie. Similarly, I think the protestors sort of "know" the media is wrong, but their attention is focused on the government. People tend to pay attention to what the administrations say. We hear endless discussions about what Blair says, Bush says, Rumsfeld and ad nauseum say -- but in actuality what they *say* matters little beyond the effects of the propaganda. Most people of the opposition just don't get that much good information or realize just how profoundly warped the news media really is. It's what they *do* that deserves attention. The *reports* of the deaths and the tyranny in Iraq are just words; it's the actual death and tyranny which matters, and the spin doesn't change that. But we all live in a world of subjective mind and belief. I can't *feel* the keyboard I type on; rather I feel my own skin and nervous impulses. I assume there is a strong correlation between my senses and the keyboard. I can't feel the pain of the Iraqis, but must make assumptions about the correlation between the reports and the reality -- unless I go to Iraq personally - and even then I get only a better picture, not the whole picture -- I can make a better subjective judgement of what it's like to be trapped there. This is really the prime philosophical foundation for self-government. No one can decide for another people how they should best conduct their own affairs (at least without giving most of the weight to their wishes) because no one can live *their* lives. It doesn't work and causes instability. I'm crippled up with fibromyalgia and continually come into personal contact with people who, often with the best intentions, decide what *they* think is best for me and what I should do or not do (Frustrating! I think of the US government "helping" the Iraqis like the US social programs "help" the disadvantaged here, and shudder.) -- but hardly anyone ever considers how their own perceptions -- their personal "news media" -- distorts their ideas, or thinks to question their own assumptions. Most everyone has personal experience with this sort of distortion of views. People concerned about Iraq are that much more limited. A massive fabric of belief and perception has been woven around Iraq, but we tend to "look at Iraq" and not "see" the fabric. We hear a report, and then hear refutations or refinements, and think -- "Ahh -- now we are getting a truer picture of what is happening", but rarely think about the process of that reporting, and fixing that process rarely occurs to us -- we just squint a bit more and try to compensate for it. What is really needed are lot more plainly spoken first-hand reports from Iraqi people in all areas of life there, and a lot fewer speeches from the politicians and "news celebrities" who use Iraq just as raw material to build their own careers and personal realities (they don't know everything they tell you). When that sort of material becomes widely available (maybe through the internet) then the people in the US and UK will become less dependent on the "official experts" and deal with the disparities. Until then "one doesn't think to clean their glasses if they are trying to see through a dense fog". ________________________________________________________________ The best thing to hit the internet in years - Juno SpeedBand! Surf the web up to FIVE TIMES FASTER! Only $14.95/ month - visit www.juno.com to sign up today! _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk